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Cybex Balios S Combo Review

Larger and heavier option with a higher price and disappointing quality and ease of use
Cybex Balios S Combo
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $450 List | $469.08 at Amazon
Pros:  Easier car seat connection, better maneuverability
Cons:  5 lb storage bin max, thicker fold, price
Manufacturer:   Cybex
By Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team  ⋅  Jun 9, 2020
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 24
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat - 30% 8
  • Ease Of Use - 30% 6
  • Weight/Folded Size - 25% 4
  • Quality - 10% 6
  • Maneuverability - 5% 7

The Skinny

The Cybex Balios S Combo offers easy to attach infant car seat compatibility with Cybex brand car seats, a larger storage bin, and a sturdy-feeling frame and wheels. It has a modern look and we can see why those committed to the brand or sold on the Cybex Aton 2 car seat might consider this their stroller of choice. However, we think the stroller has some poor attention to detail for the price and the plastic wheels make pushing and turning stiffer than we'd like. The storage bin maxes out at only 5.5 lbs and while it is easy enough to use, it is somewhat heavy and large for a car seat stroller. We think there is more to be had elsewhere no matter what your goals may be. That is of course unless your goal is a Cybex combination to go with your Aton 2.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Cybex Balios S Combo
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Best Value Award 
Price $450 List
$469.08 at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon$400 ListCheck Price at Amazon$280 List
$260.49 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easier car seat connection, better maneuverabilityParent tray, compact fold, budget-friendlyCompact and lightweight, easy car seat attachmentEasy car seat attachment, lightweight, compact foldPrice, 2 infant car seats, easy seat connection
Cons 5 lb storage bin max, thicker fold, priceLimited to Chicco car seats, short lifespanHarder to push on uneven surfacesDual action brakes, harder to push and turnHeaver, harder to push and turn
Bottom Line Larger and heavier option with a higher price and disappointing quality and ease of useEasy to use frame stroller that is thoughtfully designed for those using a Chicco car seatHigh quality, compact option that is lightweight with easy car seat attachmentBest frame stroller with easy car seat attachment and parent consoleInexpensive, versatile product good for twins or multiples with easy car seat connection
Rating Categories Cybex Balios S Combo Chicco Shuttle UPPAbaby Minu Combo Chicco KeyFit Caddy Evenflo Pivot Xpand...
Ease Of Attaching Car Seat (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Weight Folded Size (25%)
4.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
2.0
Quality (10%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
6.0
Maneuverability (5%)
7.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
Specs Cybex Balios S Combo Chicco Shuttle UPPAbaby Minu Combo Chicco KeyFit Caddy Evenflo Pivot Xpand...
Weight 18.2 lbs 15 lbs 12.6 lbs 11.7 lbs 24.3 lbs
Folded Dimensions 24"W x 17.3"H x 30"L 20.1"W x 11.3"H x 28"L 20.4"W x 13.5"H x 24"L 19.8"W x 11.5"H x 33.5"L 26.7"W x 19.23"H x 32.7"L
Capacity Limits Minimum: Birth - 55 lbs

Maximum: 55 lbs
Minimum: Birth

Maximum: Infants that are within the size and weight limitations of the infant car seat.
20 Minimum: Birth

Maximum: Max allowable weight/height for the car seat.
Minimum: Infant - Toddler

When stroller seat is in infant mode: birth - 6 months


Maximum: 55 lbs/38"
Included Car Seat Compatibility Cybex (All) Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
None Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
Evenflo SafeMax, LiteMax
Click-in Car Seat Adapters Cybex (All) Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
UPPAbaby
Mesa
Maxi-Cosi
Mico AP, Mico Max 30, Mico Nxt, CabrioFix, Pebble, and Pebble Plus
Cybex
Aton, Aton 2, and Aton Q
Nuna
Pipa
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
Chicco KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Evenflo SafeMax, LiteMax
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30, 35, SnugRide SnugLock 30, 35
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
Strap-in Car Seat Adapters None None None None None
One-handed Fold Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Locking Fold Auto None Auto Auto Auto
Self-standing Fold Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Handlebar Height - Min/Max 39.5"/43.89" 42" 41.2 36"/42" 33"/44.7"
Sandal-friendly Brake Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage Basket Size Large Large Medium Large Extra large
Included Accessories Rain Cover,
Car Seat Adapter
None Storage bag None None
Setup Time 8:37 7:45 4:23 8:28 5:15

Our Analysis and Test Results

In 2014, Cybex launched in Germany within the Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd. company. The company strives for innovative products with safety and functionality at its core. They currently make car seats, strollers, and carriers for baby.

Performance Comparison



The Cybex Aton 2 paired with the Balios makes a sharp-looking final...
The Cybex Aton 2 paired with the Balios makes a sharp-looking final product.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Attaching Car Seat


This stroller only works with Cybex car seats and we tested ours with the Cybex Aton 2. The infant carrier attaches to the Balios frame (below left) where the toddler seat attaches using the same adapters (below right). This design means there is nothing extra to buy or lose. You do need to remove the toddler seat, but this is quick and relatively painless.

The hardest part about car seat installation on the Balios is lining...
The seat connection points on the Balios are the same as those for...

Aligning the two sides simultaneously is the most painful part of this attachment, but it isn't as challenging as some of the competition and it won't require two people or tissue to stop the frustration crying. It attaches fairly easily and you can't install it incorrectly. We didn't like how it releases but overall that isn't a fault so much as a preference.

The Balios folds in half but overall is on the larger side for a...
The Balios folds in half but overall is on the larger side for a stroller / car seat combo option.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight and Folded Size


The Balios isn't the lightest stroller to pair with your car seat given its weight sans seat of 18.2 lbs. However, it isn't one of the heavier options either. While most new moms will want to skip something this heavy, some parents may not mind lugging it around considering some options weigh over 20.


This stroller is also one of the larger options in this category that often includes smaller folded strollers as many lose their seats to become car seat compatible. The Balios is 12,456 cubic inches when folded.

While the front wheels on the Balios are sturdy and don't wobble, we...
The front plastic wheels on the Balios can be locked in place which...

Maneuverability


This product has single wheels on each front leg with plastic tires (above left). The wheels can lock in place (above right)to help keep the stroller on track over uneven surfaces, butter plastic makes the going rougher than it needs to be if all the wheels had been rubber. Overall, the Balios pushes and turns well on flat surfaces without any issues, but moving over grass and gravel is more challenging.

Ease of Use


This option demonstrates below average ease of use compared to the competition.

Folding the Balios initiates with the push button on the handlebar.
Folding the Balios initiates with the push button on the handlebar.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Fold and Unfold


The Cybex folds in half using a button on the handlebar. It locks in place automatically and self-stands for easier stowing. This product can roll like luggage when folded and has a carry handle on the top of the fold for this purpose.

The rocker pedal brake on the Balios is somewhat stiff and in our...
The rocker pedal brake on the Balios is somewhat stiff and in our tests, we had to firmly hold the stroller in place to avoid it moving forward while setting the brakes.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Brakes


The single-action brakes on the Balios function with a rocker pedal. In our tests the brakes are stiff and the stroller rolls forward when we press the pedal. You'll need to hold the handlebar to prevent the stroller from escaping when you set the brake. Releasing the brakes is easier and sandal foot-friendly as you do not need to lift from the bottom.

The Cybex storage bin is large with great access, but unfortunately...
The Balios does offer a side frame cup holder that expands and is...

Storage


This product has a large storage bin (above left) with great open access all-around. The maximum weight allowance is 11 lbs. As some of the competition have limits closer to 20 lbs, this seems low but still the average. It also sports a side frame cup holder (above right) big enough for a taller water bottle.

Sunshade


To attach the car seat carrier you first need to remove the toddler seat/canopy from the frame, so there is no shade when paired with the car seat.

Ease of Setup


It took almost 9 minutes to assemble the Balios. It is neither difficult nor easy, but it took longer than some of the more straightforward competition.



The included documentation is multi-language mashed together which is hard to follow, but there are worse directions in the stroller world.

The overall quality of Balios isn't bad, it just isn't as good as...
The overall quality of Balios isn't bad, it just isn't as good as the competition with a similar price point.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


The Balios quality is average compared to the competition; for the price, it probably won't disappoint you. Overall, it looks stylish but the materials and detail are slightly subpar when lined up side-b-side with the stiff competition. This stroller sports plastic front wheels and somewhat coarse fabric, which are just two details to demonstrate what is comparatively lacking. On the other hand, the wheels and frame both feel sturdy without any wobble.

Manufacturer's Video



Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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